Cordillera Peoples Alliance

Statement of Support from the Cordillera Peoples Alliance
to the Mohawk Nation

April 29, 2008 -- The Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) condemns the violence perpetrated by the Ontario Provincial Government and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) against the Mohawk Nation in Tyendinaga at the Deseronto Boundary Road. The Mohawk Nation was opposing the encroachment of the Nibourgh Developments in their territory. Nibourgh is a private real estate developer in Canada. It carried out its project without the free, prior informed consent, and worse, the knowledge of the Mohawk Nation. The project would forcibly evict the Mohawks from their own territory.

In the course of the said peaceful protest, the OPP unlawfully arrested at least five (5) Mohawk activists whose detention remains unknown. The said protest started on April 20 and continues to date. Despite the violence and the unlawful arrests, the Mohawk remains to stand their ground. They shall continue to assert their rights and defend their territory and life. The OPP responded with threats stating: “We’re coming in at dark to take you out!”

These developments are very alarming and signify the oppression and utter disregard of the Ontario provincial government on the rights of the Mohawk Nation to their territory and life. As fellow indigenous and oppressed peoples, the CPA stands firmly in solidarity with the Mohawk Nation. We shall stand the ground with our Mohawk brothers and sisters (Mohawk). The attack on the Mohawk people is an attack to the Cordillera peoples and indigenous peoples of the world. We call on all indigenous peoples, advocates and concerned organizations to support the legitimate struggle of the Mohawk people for their collective rights to their territory and self determination.

In solidarity with the Mohawk Nation, we call on the Ontario provincial government and the Canadian government to respect the rights of the Mohawk Nation to their territory and their right to self-determination. Stop the attacks against the Mohawk Nation! Uphold and respect the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples!

We further call on the said governments to surface the Mohawk activists arrested. We hold them accountable for any harm to their persons, to others who have been physically maltreated by the OPP and other Canadian State elements. We also hold the said government responsible for any harm to the safety and security of the Mohawks in the said territory.

#2 P. Guevarra Street,
WestModern Site, Aurora Hill, 2600
Baguio City,
Telephone: +63.74.442.2115
Facsimile: +63.74.443.7159
Email: cpa@cpaphils.org; sakongan@gmail.com

Web site: www.cpaphils.org


Open Letter to the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of Canada

Monday, April 21, 2008 -- We, the undersigned Canadian-based organizations and individuals, strongly condemn the harassment by armed men of Rep. Satur Ocampo on his return from a Human Rights Mission to Canada. We also condemn the threat of his imminent arrest. We are seriously concerned for his safety and that of the other members of the Mission, Rep. Crispin Beltran and Rep. Luz Ilagan.

According to Philippine newspaper reports, unidentified armed men on motorcycles believed to be police officers were seen staking out Ocampo's residence in Quezon City, early Sunday, April 20. A Honda SUV and a Toyota AUV parked a few metres from his house left when members of the media arrived around 10:30 am.

We view the timing of these events as punishment by the Philippine government for Rep. Ocampo’s courageous and principled stand against the ongoing human rights abuses in the Philippines -- particularly the extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances -- that he and the two other elected legislators aired before the Canadian Parliament and the Canadian media.

Rep. Ocampo, President of the Bayan Muna Party and the Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, along with Rep. Beltran of Anakpawis and Rep. Ilagan from the Gabriela Women's Party, were in Canada at the invitation of the Stop the Killings Network and the United Church of Canada for a national tour from April 4 -18, 2008.

The three members of the Philippine Congress informed the Canadian public, media and members of Parliament at the House of Commons Subcommittee on International Human Rights that more than 900 extrajudicial killings and 180 enforced disappearances have occurred under the government of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. They revealed that they themselves have been subjected to harassment, arrests and intimidation; 132 members of Rep. Ocampo's party have been assassinated since 2001, along with 49 members of Anakpawis and members of Gabriela.

Members of the Subcommittee who heard their testimonies expressed deep concern, saying that Canada must speak out and condemn the political killings. They acknowledged the grave risk the Philippine legislators have taken in standing up for their country.

The Philippine government appears to be again dredging up murder charges against Mr. Ocampo along with fellow Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño, Gabriela Women's Party Rep. Liza Maza and former Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano. Prosecutors in Neuva Ecija province filed the charges on Friday, April 18, this time for the alleged killing of three rebel returnees between 2001 and 2004.

It is to be noted that Casiño also just returned from Geneva, Switzerland where he made front page news exposing the human rights abuses in the Philippines during that country’s appearance before the United Nations Universal Periodic Review on human rights last April 11, 2008.

This is not the first time the government of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has ordered the arrest of Mr. Ocampo and the other progressive Party list legislators in order to silence them. Each time the charges have been thrown out of court.

On February 2007, Mr. Ocampo was arrested and detained for 18 days during an ongoing election campaign on charges of murders he allegedly committed in 1984. At that time he was in prison under the Marcos dictatorship. The case was dismissed by the Supreme Court.

Rebellion charges were also dismissed in 2006 against Reps. Ocampo, Casiño, Beltran and Mariano, along with Rep. Maza of Gabriela. They spent two months under the protective custody of the Philippine Congress to prevent their arrest. However, Rep. Crispin Beltran, 75, was nabbed and spent 15 months in prison where he suffered heart problems before the charges were dropped.

UN Rapporteur Philip Alston rejected the charges of the Philippine government that the ongoing political killings and abductions are the results of internal purges within the Philippine left and underground New Peoples Army, and instead implicated the Philippine military and police forces.

We demand that the Philippine government immediately stop the harassment and drop all trumped-up charges against Reps. Ocampo, Beltran, Ilagan, Casiño and the other elected representatives of these Party list organizations.

We urge that the Canadian government demand an immediate end to the intimidation and harassment of Rep. Ocampo and ensure his safety along with that of Rep. Beltran and Rep. Ilagan. The three were recent guests of the Canadian people. We call on the Canadian government to take a strong stand against the extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in the Philippines and withhold bilateral assistance to the Arroyo government until Ottawa has proof that suitable measures have been taken.

-- Drop all trumped-up charges against Rep. Satur Ocampo and the other elected party list legislators;
-- Stop the harassment and intimidation of Rep. Satur Ocampo and the other elected party list legislators;
-- Stop the extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in the Philippines and bring those responsible to justice.

Signed by:

Basics Community Newspaper
Bayan Organizing Committee, Toronto
B.C. Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines
Canadian Advocacy Group for Philippines (CAGP)
Centre d’appui aux Philippines - Centre for Philippine Concerns (Montreal)
Centre for Research on Globalization (CRM), Montreal
Coalition for the Protection of Caregivers' Rights
Centre for Women's Studies in Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
Community Alliance for Social Justice, Toronto
Connie Sorio, KAIROS, Asia Pacific
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)- National
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)local 4600
Damayan Manitoba
Denis Lemelin, National President, Canadian Union of Postal Workers
Development and Peace
Dominique Caouette, Political Science Dept., University of Montreal
Francine Lalonde, MP, Bloc Québécois
Friends of Satur Ocampo, Crispin Beltran and Luz Ilagan of Vancouver
Global and Societal Ministries, BC Conference, UCC
Jean-Philippe Massicotte, University of Montreal
Joan Agravante-Mititar
Johanne Deschamps, MP, Bloc Québecois
Lois Wilson, Senator (ret.)
Migrante-Ontario (AWARE Filipino Family Services, Damayan Education and Resource Centre, Filipino Migrant Workers' Movement)
Migrante Youth Collective
MiningWatch Canada
Northstar Compass
National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) - National
Ontario Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines
Pacific People's Partnership
PATAC (Philippine Advocacy Through Arts and Culture)
Philippine - Québec Public Forum, Montreal
Philippine Network for Justice and Peace
PINAY Montreal
Primates World Relief and Development Fund
Ricardo Caluen (member of Philippine Press Club of Ontario)
United Church of Canada
Victoria Group
Vivian Barbot, MP, Bloc Québécois

(version 8)


Montreal welcomes Rep. Satur Ocampo, Rep. Crispin "Ka Bel" Beltran and Rep. Luz Ilagan

Media advisory April 5, 2008 -- Three members of the Philippine Congress will be visiting Montreal April 11 and 12, 2008 as part of a cross-Canada tour (April 4-18). They will be lobbying Canadian parliamentarians in Ottawa and other groups to pressure the administration of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to end human rights violations and government corruption in the Philippines.

Allegations of corruption and electoral fraud plague the Arroyo administration, and demand for her to step down are intensifying in the Philippines. Recent massive street protests have been compared to the 1986 People Power movement that ousted Ferdinand Marcos 22 years ago.

Some Philippine human rights groups have also claimed that Arroyo’s record of human rights violations surpasses that of Marcos, with more than 800 politically motivated extra-judicial killings since 2001. The U.N. special rapporteur Philip Alston has attributed these killings to the Armed Forces of the Philippines and its counterinsurgency program.

The three congresspeople are:

o Rep. Satur Ocampo: President of Bayan Muna Party, Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives and Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. He is a former journalist and was the longest-held political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship.

o Rep. Crispin Beltran: Anakpawis Party List Representative, Vice-Chair of the House Special Committee on Overseas Workers’ Affairs and Member of the House Committees on Labour and Human Rights. He was arrested and detained from 2005 to late 2007 on charges of rebellion and murder, which were dismissed by the Supreme Court. He is the former chair of the Kilusang Mayo Uno, a progressive labour centre in the Philippines.

o Rep. Luz Ilagan: Gabriela Women’s Party Representative, member of the House Committees on Women, Mindanao Affairs, Overseas Welfare Affairs and Cultural Minorities. She was a faculty member of the Humanities Division of the Ateneo De Davao University. She is among the pioneer of the Women’s Rights Movement in Mindanao.

For more information on their visit to Canada and on the current situation in the Philippines or to arrange interviews, e-mail Malcolm Guy -- mguy[at]pmm.qc.ca

-- Philippine Legislators' Welcoming Committee, 4708 Van Horne Avenue, Montreal, Quebec, Canada


PHILIPPINES: Waging War on the People

Film showing
Hosted by Beaconsfield United Church
For the Stop The Killings in the Philippines (Quebec Network)

Productions Multi-Monde

Centre for Philippine Concerns

a documentary film by
Marie Boti & Malcolm Guy

Wednesday April 2, 2008
7:30pm - 9pm
Beaconsfield United Church
202 Woodside Road, Beaconsfield
tel: (514) 695-0600

The international campaign to STOP THE KILLINGS IN THE PHILIPPINES has had an impact. The 2007 Canadian Tour of human rights advocates and victims from the Philippines was followed by a historic special session of the Permanent People’s Tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands where Dr. Constancio Chandu Claver was witness. After hearing three days of testimony by victims and witnesses, the Tribunal rendered a strong verdict, accusing the Philippine government and its backers in the White House of “crimes again humanity”.